Former Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has spoken with Jorge Valdano in an exclusive interview for ‘Universo Valdano’.
“Guardiola’s time at Barça was extraordinary. He found a generation that was unique. I regret not having enjoyed that time more. You’re in the thick of things day in and day out and you don’t realise. The way Guardiola prepared the games, how the opponent was going to play, everything,” Messi said.
“We did it so easily and it was so natural that we didn’t realise what we were doing. With the passing of time, you realise it was something unique. Guardiola did a lot of damage to football because he made it look so easy and everyone wants to copy it. He’s the best coach, without a doubt, he has something special. How he sees the game, prepares for games and communicates with you.
“Guardiola called me one evening, at 7pm. I was at home. He told me I was going to play as a false 9 against Real Madrid. One of the first goals, the Henry one, is exactly how he predicted it would be. I always liked to be on the ball and have Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets next to me. It was so much easier. Guardiola was something special.
“Now I enjoy things much more. In the national team and at club level I enjoy it much more now. In the national team, a great group was formed at the last Copa America.”